Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘cemetery’

Another Little Milestone–100 “Taps”

Posted by glennled on June 4, 2014

VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, Acacia Cemetery, Seattle

VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, Acacia Cemetery, Seattle

On 15 April, our federal income taxes came due. Yes, I made the deadline that afternoon, but only in the morning after I’d played “Taps” for the 100th time. Yes, I realize other buglers have sounded this call literally thousands of times, but I’m very glad to have done my little part for our veterans as bugler for VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood.

On this occasion, the Post’s Honor Guard performed the flag ceremony with the Washington Army National Guard at Acacia Cemetery in Lake City as part of WAARNG’s Veterans Memorial Tribute Program (for more information on VMTP, please see my post of 5 January 2012). Jointly, we do this ceremony at Acacia, Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, and Edmonds Cemetery every month.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations, Status, Milestones, Summaries | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Taps” for Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Posted by glennled on December 16, 2011

Last Saturday at 8:45 a.m., the 2nd Annual Wreath Laying ceremony was held in the Chimes Tower at Evergreen Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery in north Seattle. On the second Saturday of every December, similar ceremonies are conducted at Arlington National Cemetery, other veterans cemeteries in all 50 states, and veteran’s burial grounds around the globe. The Navy Wives Clubs of America led the volunteers who made this event happen here. See for a description of the national organization and event.

The Navy provided the color guard, and VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood furnished the rifle team and bugler—me! You can see a video of the event and hear “Taps” at King-5 TV News,–135386858.html . The volunteers placed 100 wreaths on veterans graves here. There are six Medal of Honor and two Silver Star recipients buried at Evergreen Washelli (see my posts of 2 and 19 July 2011).

All but three of the photos below are courtesy of the Navy Wives Clubs of America. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Taps” for the Father

Posted by glennled on July 22, 2011

“When all three of us salute the casket, that’s when you play ‘Taps,’” said the Sergeant of the Honor Guard, dressed to perfection in his military uniform.

About an hour later, the hearse drove up to the gravesite, and the pall bearers lifted the casket onto the frame directly above the dark, rectangular hole dug into the earth. As the large crowd gathered, a gentleman in a suit introduced himself and called me by name. He had

In Brice's Garden

seen me, dressed in all black, holding my cornet. He is the son of the deceased father, being laid to rest last Saturday alongside the body of his wife in the Resthaven 2 Section of Evergreen Washelli Cemetery along Highway 99 in north Seattle.

“I am a Vietnam veteran,” he said.

“So am I,” I replied. “It’s my honor and privilege to do this.”

He went to be seated at his place among the family and friends directly in front of the grave. From where I was standing near a distant Japanese maple tree, I saw the preacher say a few words, no more than five minutes, to the large crowd at the gravesite, and then I saw the three Washington National Guardsmen, two men and a woman, salute the casket. For the second time that day, I sounded the 24-notes of “Taps.”

The Honor Guard lifted the flag off the casket and carefully folded it into the familiar triangle. One passed it to the other, who took it to the son.

We have often seen this ritual, have we not, always done the same way, as our veterans are laid to rest in peace around the world? The guardsman kneels in front of the person, the widow or widower, the mother or father, the son or daughter, the sister or brother, whomever, and presents the flag, one white-gloved hand below, one above, and, looking him or her in the eyes, whispers something very short and dignified. Then the Honor Guard marches away and leaves.

With the gift of a perfectly folded flag, in one moment after a lifetime, the United States of America thanks the son and the surviving family for the armed service of the father. I shall never know how it feels to give or receive that flag. How could one maintain one’s composure at such a moment?

But I can give them “Taps,” and this I know: it’s all about love and honor before God—for that’s all there is to life.

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